February 04, 2005

Diocese suspends accused priest


By Susan Schrock
Star-Telegram Staff Writer

GRAND PRAIRIE - The Dallas Catholic Diocese has indefinitely suspended a Grand Prairie priest who was arrested after diocesan officials accused him of having child pornography on his church computer.

Father Matthew Bagert, 36, was arrested Wednesday morning at Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Northeast 17th Street. The arrest came two days after the diocese told Grand Prairie police that he had child pornography on his computer.

Bagert was released from the Grand Prairie Jail on $20,000 bond.

Bronson Havard, spokesman for the diocese, said Bagert was consulting a lawyer Thursday and was declining interviews.

Bagert was ordained in 1997 and has been the church's pastor since 2001, Havard said. The diocese had received no previous complaints about him, he said.

"This was a shock for all of us," Havard said.

Posted by kshaw at February 4, 2005 05:29 AM